Self-Conscious About Coupons

In the age of self-revealing Facebook entries and blogs, one can easily feel that modern Americans have shed all inhibitions. In fact, though, they’ve held onto some odd ones even as they jettison more conventional sorts of self-restraint. One case in point is coupon usage, of all things.

In a survey released last month by ICOM Information Communications, 22 percent of respondents confessed to feeling “self-conscious about redeeming coupons at the grocery store.” There’s nothing like a recession to overcome such squeamishness, though. Among respondents to the poll (fielded in December) who confessed they feel self-conscious about redeeming coupons, 57 percent also said they “no longer care as long as they are saving money.”

Overall, 43 percent of the respondents said they had increased their use of coupons in the prior six months. The figure was even higher among the survey’s 35-and-under cohort, with 57 percent of respondents in this age bracket saying they had used coupons more during the previous six months. So did 40 percent of the 35-54-year-olds, 36 percent of the 55-64s and 25 percent of those 65-plus.